Up to Speed: On Driving for a Superstar Boss
In 2005, Sebastien Bourdais entered the Indianapolis 500 with Newman/Haas Racing, co-owned by screen legend Paul Newman.
“After the 2003 Champ Car race at St. Pete, we all had dinner at the Vinoy. We spent hours talking about racing and France. Carl [Haas] was staying at the Vinoy, but Paul was at the Hilton with us because it was half the price.
“We rode back with him to the hotel, and the entire myth, the facade, had gone. He was just a humble guy, super friendly, easy to talk to.
“Then we walked into the lobby of the Hilton, and three or four ladies absolutely lost it when they saw him—just going bananas. That’s when we realized how big a deal he was. We were probably on the fifth floor in the elevator, and we could still hear them screaming.”
This article is part of IM’s special May 2016 coverage of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.